Luke Smith  |    |   0  |  16 February 2017

FIA rejects 'malicious' reports over F1 sale

The FIA has issued a statement responding to "malicious" reports relating to the recent sale of Formula 1 to Liberty Media and the governing body's one per cent shareholding in the series' previous holding company, Delta Topco.

Liberty Media announced back in September that it had agreed a deal to acquire F1 in an $8 billion deal that was completed in January, with American executive Chase Carey taking over as CEO and chairman following Bernie Ecclestone's resignation.

Following suggestions that the FIA held a conflict of interest in the sale of F1 given its one per cent stake and need to approve Liberty's takeover, a statement was issued on Thursday dismissing such claims.

"Following the unanimous approval by the World Motor Sport Council of the change of control of Delta Topco Limited (the holding company of the Commercial Rights Holder of the FIA Formula One World Championship) from CVC Capital Partners in favour of Liberty Media Corporation on 18 January 2017, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has been made aware of certain declarations and comments, clearly inaccurately informed or made maliciously, relating to this process," the statement reads.

"In light of this, the FIA wishes to make clear the following once again:

"Firstly, the prize money allocated in the Formula One World Championship is done so in accordance with the bilateral agreements that exist between each team and the Commercial Rights Holder (CRH).  The FIA has no knowledge of these agreements.

"Secondly, there is no conflict of interest on the part of the FIA with regard to its approval of the change of control of the CRH which has been approved by the World Motor Sport Council taking into consideration exclusively the terms of the existing agreements between the CRH and the FIA and the best interests of the Championship.

"As per the Agreements made in 2001 for 100 Years, the FIA could only have withheld its consent in the event that the change of control would materially alter the ability of the CRH to fulfil its obligations; it is obvious that the taking of control of the Formula One Group by Liberty does not create such a risk, and nobody has ever suggested a different view in this respect.

"The FIA would naturally be happy to demonstrate the absence of any conflict of interest to any competent authority that may so request.

"Once again, the FIA looks forward to its collaboration with both Liberty and the Formula One Group to create a constructive relationship that will ensure the continued success and the development of the FIA Formula One World Championship in the long term."

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